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Riding on the success of last year’s Bountiful Brews & Bites, James City County is looking to expand its event offerings at Jamestown Beach with its first summer concert series.
Jody Puckett, JCC communications director, said the county is looking at putting on three Friday concerts —one in June, one in July and one in August.
She said the concerts could feature a “fun variety” of rock, country and beach music but staff is still “floating ideas” and would be interested in suggestions from the community.
Before the county can dive into planning, a special use permit amendment must be approved, Puckett said.
Currently, the permit requires a connection to public water and sewer systems before any development takes place at Jamestown Beach that could generate higher park visitation, Senior Planner Leanne Pollock said.
At this time, the park hosts fewer than 10 events annually, with no event lasting longer than one day and with less than 1,500 people attending each event, according to a staff memo on the amendment.
The amendment would allow smaller infrastructure improvements, such as a temporary stage, to be built on the site to support special events without requiring permanent restroom facilities or public water and sewer connections. The facilities and connections would be required if permanent event infrastructure is built.
In the interim, private and county-sponsored event organizers would still need to meet Virginia Department of Health regulations, which include renting portable toilets for each event, Pollock said.
The amendment gives the county the opportunity to see if special events can be successful at Jamestown Beach before building permanent structures like a stage, according to the staff memo.
Puckett said the most recent special event at the site, Bountiful Brews & Bites, exceeded the county’s expectations. The event, which brought food truck vendors and live music to Jamestown Beach last November, attracted 650 people.
“We’re starting to feel there is a desire in the community for more of this type of event,” Puckett said.
Although there is no budget set for the series at this time, Puckett said the concerts will be financed through the county’s tourism fund, which is supported by revenue collected through the Transient Occupancy Tax.
The JCC Planning Commission unanimously recommended the SUP amendment for approval during its meeting Wednesday night. The amendment must now go before the Board of Supervisors for approval or denial.